Avs Sign Kariya, Selanne

Archived from 2003-04 season.

NHL teams

After a slow start to this year's free agent signings, the Colorado Avalanche struck big by signing Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne to one-year contracts.

The former linemates of five years in Anaheim, Kariya and Selanne will make Colorado's formidable offense downright scary.

"We wanted to play together again," said Kariya. "We had success playing together in the past, we have a great friendship and we wanted to be back together but we weren't bound by it."

Kariya, who made $10 million last season with the Mighty Ducks, became an unrestricted free agent when Anaheim declined to make him a qualifying offer. He agreed to a $1.2 million contract with the Avalanche.

"I came here for the hockey, it wasn't about the money," said Kariya. "The $1.2 million was arrived at because it is under the league average. I was an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and I will be an unrestricted free agent again next season."

Selanne, who played with the San Jose Sharks last season and declined a player option at $6.5 million for next season, signed for $5.8 million with Colorado.

"When Paul became a free agent it was automatic that we wanted to play together and Colorado was our first choice," said Selanne, via satellite from Finland where he is on vacation. "Colorado is a classy organization that has won the Stanley Cup many times. It was our dream to play together."

Kariya, who is a seven-time All-Star, has played his entire career with the Mighty Ducks. He was taken by Anaheim with the fourth pick of the NHL entry draft in 1993 -- the year the expansion Ducks came into the league.

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